Before enrolling in the JVS water pre-apprenticeship program, Victor was a middle school history teacher facing the daily challenges in the field of education. When the stress of teaching started taking its toll on his well-being, Victor decided to pursue a career that would provide more long-term stability and sustainability. He enrolled in a machine technology program at Laney College, which is where he first learned about JVS.
“I really was not aware of this type of role or any sort of avenue to go down this path,” Victor says. “I was kind of in the dark when it came to this whole world. So all credit goes to JVS for opening that door and showing me the way.”
The JVS program provided Victor with practical skills training, resume-building workshops, and interview preparation. Victor completed the program and received a paid internship in the Spring of 2023 with East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD), which helped him kickstart his career in the water industry.
“I had gotten a whole lot of experience in the water sector that I did not have before my internship,” Victor says. “I think that really is the biggest help because when you’re trying to switch careers, how do employers know that you’re serious about it? And so now I have at least one really positive experience reflects well on my resume that I can hang my hat on.”
When Victor’s internship ended, he immediately put the job search skills he had practiced with his JVS coaches to work and quickly secured a new job at a pump shop in Concord. In the meantime, he maintained his connections at EBMUD and passed a series of tests and interviews, and several months after his internship ended, he landed a limited-term position with EBMUD in October 2023.
“Nothing happens overnight,” Victor says. “If you’re considering doing something for yourself, that’s going to put you in a different place, that’s going to be better, then you got to be willing to take the risks. So far I have gained valuable experience, but I am not done yet. I have to keep striving and using all the skills I have learned.”
Victor’s story first appeared in our 2023 Impact Report. Go to impact2023.jvs.org to read the report and learn more about our work.